Kuching is the capital of and largest city in the state of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia. Located on the northwest of the island of Borneo, the city was founded in 1827 by the Sultanate of Brunei (which controlled most of the northwestern regions of Borneo at that time), the city later became the capital of Rajah James Brooke, after the Sultan of Brunei ceded the territory of Sarawak to him in 1841. The Brooke family held Sarawak as a personal empire until the Second World War when Borneo was occupied by the Japanese. After the war, the Brookes ceded their holdings to the British Crown and Kuching remained as the capital of the Crown Colony of Sarawak. Sarawak later became independent when it joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

Kuching today has a population of some 300,000 and is an important industrial and commercial centre with a busy river port. It also serves as a centre for tourism in Sarawak. An airfield has existed there since before World War Two and was extended by the Japanese using Allied prisoners of war.

Kuching and BigglesEdit

In Biggles in Borneo Biggles led a patrol of his three Beaufighters from Lucky Strike towards the northwestern coast of Borneo. Spotting a Mitsubishi A5M Claude, Biggles deduced that since this was a ship-borne fighter, there must be a carrier nearby. Accordingly, they follow the Claude westwards until they reached Kuching, described as "on the far side of a bay". There, Biggles found an aircraft carrier with aircraft neatly lined on deck and proceeded to attack it. Algy was sent to attack the nearby airfield while Bertie mounted top cover and shot down a flying boat. 

In reality, Kuching stands on the Sarawak River and is more than 10 miles from the sea. Although it is a river port, it is not big enough to accommodate an aircraft carrier. Of course, the carrier might have been anchored at the river mouth and Algy sent further inland to attack the shore installations, but this seems unlikely.


A view of modern day Kuching. The ships at the river port can just be seen on the lower right. To the upper left, in the background is the city centre. The airport is located to the far left, outside the photo.